Frequently Asked Questions
What is the DPS School Construction Project?
The DPS School Construction Project will build and renovate the district’s schools funded by $500.5 million federal stimulus dollars following voter approval in Nov. 2009 of the Proposal S Bond Referendum. The project will also implement district-wide initiatives including more technology in classrooms and improved security measures in all schools.
What exactly is being done?
The Bond Construction Program includes:
- brand new construction for seven schools,
- a new high-tech DPS Police Headquarters & Command Center,
- major renovations at 10 schools,
- four large additions including the multipurpose Harambee Center at Marcus Garvey Academy, an athletic complex at Western International High School, and new gymnasiums at Bethune- Fitzgerald Academy and Bunche Elementary Middle School,
- demolition of nine schools and campus structures,
- mechanical upgrades and stabilization projects at 36 schools, and
- district-wide security improvements at up to 123 schools.
What are the seven brand new schools?
There are three new high schools and four new elementary middle schools:
- East English Village Preparatory Academy
- Mumford High School
- Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School
- Munger PreK to 8 School
- Mackenzie PreK to 8 School
- Amelia Earhart Elementary Middle School
- Samuel Gompers Elementary Middle School
What schools were renovated?
Extensive renovations were done at four high schools and six elementary middle schools:
- Henry Ford High School
- Denby High School
- Western International High School
- Northwestern High School
- John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy
- Bethune-Fitzgerald Academy
- Marcus Garvey Academy
- Beckham Academy
- Bunche Elementary Middle School
- Ronald Brown Academy
Four large additions were also completed that include the multipurpose Harambee Center at Marcus Garvey Academy, an athletic complex at Western International High School, and new gymnasiums at Bethune-Fitzgerald Academy and Bunche Elementary Middle School.
What schools are being torn down?
Nine schools and campus structures are being demolished:
- The former Cass Technical High School
- The former Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School
- The former Mumford High School
- Finney High School
- Mackenzie High School
- Chadsey High School & Munger Elementary School campus
- The former Amelia Earhart Elementary School
- Harding Elementary School
- Robeson Academy
Why is the Bond Construction Program needed?
The Bond Construction is assuring a better educational environment for Detroit students while aiding Detroit’s economy by producing work for Detroit residents and Detroit companies. The project will transform the district from one in which there are many under capacity schools in aging buildings to one in which about 75% of all students will attend a new or renovated school, when the district’s billion Facilities Master Plan is fully implemented. Through this construction project, DPS is creating safe, new state-of-the-art learning facilities to ensure students achieve success.
What is the timeline for the Bond Construction Program?
DPS is on an aggressive schedule make all capital improvements by 2012 to be compliant with federal guidelines. The final four new schools totaling $150 million will open this fall that will provide some 4,500 students with brand new learning environments replacing older facilities.
Are academic programs and curriculum improvements such as tutoring and after school programs included?
No. The Bond Construction Program funds can only be used for capital improvements, which include new construction, building renovations, demolition, and technology and security initiatives. However, the building projects coincide with the district’s Academic Plan to ensure students are educated in optimum learning environments. The academic plan can be access at www.detroitk12.org/academicplan.
How is the Bond Construction Program funded?
Detroit voters approved the Proposal S Bond Referendum in Nov. 2009 which enabled the district to access $500.5 million in federal dollars for school capital improvement projects. DPS received the 6th largest allocation in the nation.
Will there be a tax increase from Proposal S?
No. The funds come to DPS in the form of no-interest and low-interest bonds available under the national economic stimulus package. There is no tax increase from Proposal S. Taxes will remain the same.
Will the project generate jobs for Detroiters?
Yes. The project created more jobs for Detroit residents and more work for Detroit-based companies. At the onset of the Bond Construction Program in 2010, the Greater Detroit Building Trades Council and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters entered into a Project Labor Agreement with DPS that was structured to maximize opportunities for Detroit residents. The PLA set an aggressive 65% participation goal that helped drive participation levels to far exceed the 25% to 45% historical regional averages. Detroit resident architects, engineers, project managers, and other non-trade workers have performed over 58% of the total non-trade hours. Detroit resident electricians, masons, carpenters, and other skilled trade workers have performed 51% of the total trade hours.
How were the local unions involved in the hiring process?
The unions have been active partners in the recruitment and engagement of Detroit residents throughout the Bond Construction Program. A Labor & Management Cooperation Committee was established to further maximize participation among Detroiters. Members of this committee included representatives of the unions, DPS, the Walbridge Joint Venture, and a contractor representative.
How successful was DPS in hiring local workers?
DPS exceeded average regional participation goals by hiring more Detroit businesses and Detroit residents to work skilled trades and non-trade jobs for the third consecutive and final year of the Bond Construction Program. More than 60% of all subcontracts were awarded to Detroit-headquartered businesses and more than 50% of all worker hours were performed by Detroit residents, a mark that well exceeds the regional average goal of 25% to 45%.
Were DPS students part of the workforce?
Yes. The Bond Construction Program employed 209 DPS students as part of the successful Summer Student Worker Program, which will continue this summer.
How much was the community involved in the planning and design process?
Community feedback helped shape the final decisions. DPS held more than 40 local community meetings and nine town hall meetings during the planning process, and continues to update the community during meetings for the final four schools.
Who is managing the Bond Construction Program?
Program manager for the Bond Construction Program is Walbridge Joint Venture, which includes Brailsford & Dunlavey, Walbridge, and Fanning Howey.